MTV // 2008 // 47 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 21st, 2008
Go for broke(n urethra).
The latest from the Jackass crew is insane. Mat Hoffman's Tribute to Evel Knievel is 45 minutes of unbridled craziness, a series of two-wheeled stunts that defy gravity and/or common sense. Hosted by Mat Hoffman, renowned BMX superstar, this tribute sports some serious wackiness, all executed on shifty conditions. Seriously, while the stunts are terriffic in their own right, the fact that these guys are performing such feats on poorly-constructed wood ramps and bumpy, uneven dirt roads is the true bravery of this show.
What's in store for you? Guys on BMX bikes being towed by motorcycles and setting distance records, midgets riding on motorcycles and bikes setting tandem world records, impressive yet unsuccessful attempts at the world record for motorcycle distance jumping, a crazy a-hole jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, Spike Jonze attempting to backflip a minibike and Johnny Knoxville utterly failing at every stunt he tries and inflicting unspeakable trauma upon his junk.
It's all extremely entertaining, but totally different than the typical Jackass formula. Where Tribute bucks the game plan is through the use of obvious experts. We've all seen the warnings at the beginning of the Jackass shows claiming these idiots are experts and supervised by experts but who really believes that.
On this show, there's no doubting at all these dudes know what they're doing. They're pros and the death-defying stuff they pull off is indicative of the amount of practice and training they've put themselves through. Now as cool as that is to watch, there's an element of suspense missing. With Jackass, because all the guys were morons, there was always the creeping feeling that anything could go wrong at a moment's notice and they'd end up dead or arrested. Here, you never quite think that these stunts will end poorly -- except of course for Knoxville.
That true Jackass flair is largely absent from this presentation, but it's not a gamebreaker. The stunts performed are still awesome, if occasionally anti-climactic; the attempt to set the distance jump record takes up the most runtime in the feature and ends with a whimper and the finale on the dirt hill yields very few memorable moments and why wasn't Mat Hoffman doing any jumping?
Still, it's an entertaining disc and worth checking out if you enjoy the daredevil thing. Plus, these guys to a man are not shy about revealing how much they idolized and appreciated Evel Knievel, so as a tribute to a deceased icon, it's a winner.
Full screen and stereo for the tech specs and some okay extras, highlighted by the bonus footage and including text-based info on Hoffman, Evel Knievel, a photo gallery, a tattoo montage and music videos.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 47 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage
* Photo Gallery
* Music Video
* Jackass World